HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 35 DISABILITY LEAVE POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


If a California-based employee requires a temporary leave as a reasonable accommodation in connection with a disability not covered under PDLCFRAFMLA or workers compensation laws, the employer should grant it to the extent it can do so without causing undue hardship on the business.

Policy Drafting Tips and Best Practices:

  • Specify the authorized reasons for and duration of such disability leaves;
  • Determine whether they will be paid or unpaid;
  • Decide whether employees must use any accrued vacation/PTO and/or any available paid sick leave benefits during the leave;
  • Determine if the employee must provide medical certification before taking the leave and, if so, never require medical diagnoses or other private medical facts;
  • Explain how employees can maintain group health plan coverage while off work;
  • Avoid implementing a blanket policy that automatically terminates an employee after being on leave for a specified period; and
  • Seek legal advice before terminating or laying off any disabled employee.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include a disability leave of absence policy, and educate and train your supervisors on these laws.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
August 25, 2023

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